Virgil van Dijk has been left out of Liverpool’s 2020/21 Premier League squad, amid fears he could miss the rest of the season through injury.
The Dutchman recently underwent surgery after being on the end of a horror tackle on Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby. It has since been revealed that the Liverpool defender has suffered an ACL injury, which is likely to rule him out for the remainder of the campaign.
Pickford has been criticized for this reckless challenge / Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images
The 29-year-old has therefore not been included in the Reds’ 25-man Premier League squad. However, he could be registered in January if the club are confident he will recover in time to feature before the end of the season. Van Dijk is also likely to miss Liverpool’s Champions League campaign, which begins against Ajax on Wednesday night.
He is not the only absentee that Jurgen Klopp will have to deal with either. Summer arrival Thiago Alcantara will sit out, while Joel Matip, Alisson Becker, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are also unavailable.
Nevertheless, Klopp hit back when a journalist questioned whether the reigning Premier League champions had any chance against Ajax.
Klopp’s passionate pre-match press conference on Tuesday / Catherine Ivel / Getty Images
“We’re here without Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip! We’ll still give it a try,” the German said (via the Mirror).
“What can we do now? People can say what they want, it’s a free world. But three weeks ago, they said we’d run away (with the league). Now, three weeks later, we’re in conflict. Neither do I. Nothing anymore. This is football. This is the world right now. We can’t be too excited. We have to stay calm. That’s what we try to do. We will.”
He added: “Everybody’s having fun and, look, it’s the Champions League tomorrow night! Hey! Look how Liverpool will do this or that! We’ll give it a proper try, I promise you.